on wednesday, as president barack obama, and mitt romney met for the first presidential debate and the candidates sparred as you heard over taxes and the deficit as well as health care. wall street reform and the role of government. with mitt romney taking some sharp shots at the president's record these past four years. >> we're seeing right now is, in my view, a trickle down government approach which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams and that's not working the. proof of that is 23 million people out of work and the proof one out of six people in poverty, the proof 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps the proof of that 50% of college graduates this year can't find work. >> paul: there's little doubt romney's commander performance helped the g.o.p. ticket. the question is, how much? let's ask wall street journal columnist and deputy editor dan henninger, mary anna stacia o'grady and kim strassel. dan, how important was this debate for mitt romney's candidacy. >> it was not only very important for mitt romney'